Friday, January 11, 2008

The Thin Red Line

I was cleaning out the Captain's Cave and came across the OECD Pocketbook that I got for free when I filled out a survey and while paging through it came across one of my favorite charts that shows both PUBLIC and PRIVATE spending on health care per person in the OECD.

And what it shows is what I've been saying for, I don't know, five, six years. That the US government already spends more than the majority of European governments per person on health care. That if the left has an argument it's NOT to spend MORE money on health care, but to streamline the current system. Thus the red line to show you the case. In any case enjoy the weekend.


Aaron said...

I don't have an argument, but I think it should be noted the price of health care services are not the same between different countries. A few countries in particular are significantly more expensive.

Joel said...

Additionally, though, it certainly seems that the high public AND private spending is necessitated by the lacking health-consciousness of the American public. The lifestyles and vices of many Americans perpetuates dynamics that are much larger in magnitude to address than, say, what Switzerland faces. In comparison, it was much more expensive to clean up, in a sense of per-capita, after Katrina than one of the lower in alphabet hurricanes.

Streamlining of the healthcare system is just as important as breaking the conditions that created the problems.

dtrum said...

Switzerland has extremely high drug prices. The OECD should come up with a statistic with real prices. That would show us the true differences between countries (and it would probably make the US look even more outrageous).

However, I don't get it why health care is always seen as something bad. It's like saying: "oh my, revenues in the hair-styling services have gone up 5 percent this year, we absolutely gotta do something to control the costs!!". If you want to cut costs in health care, then let insuring companies compete freely and completely privatize and liberalize the hospital business, because this is something where governments all over the world keep messing up with.

Tim Nelson said...

Would you use wage and price controls, or is there some middle ground?

I went to an Independence party meet up this week. The idea of wage and price controls on medical specialists went over like a lead balloon.